Gameboy

HRH Prince Harry Afghanistan

“If there’s people trying to do bad stuff to our guys, then we’ll take them out of the game. It’s a joy for me because I’m one of those people who loves playing PlayStation and Xbox, so with my thumbs I like to think I’m probably quite useful.”

By Rosie Kane

When my phone rang early on Tuesday morning I mistook it for my alarm and swiped it, hanging up by accident on the caller… none the less I was awake so I stuck the news on only to see the face (not the arse) of Harry… the boy from London, who is aka Captain Wales, Harry Windsor and probably the Duke of something too. Anyway, there he was with an Apache helicopter and a lot of sand for a back drop telling us all about his job.

Now it’s not easy for this socialist republican to listen to such interviews … particularly when the only time I’m likely to hear working class folk chatting on TV is via that nasty worm Jeremy Kyle who gets rich by making poor folk fight after he’s torn the piss out of their sad and poverty stricken existence, I digress but that’s what happens when I see Harry and co telling us how difficult it all is whilst pointing out they’re ‘just ordinary folk’.

In Harry’s case it goes even further. Remember he’s the one who thought it was hilarious to dress as a Nazi a few years back – what with that and his recent much less worrying bare erse in Las Vegas this royal is portrayed as being “just like a lad his age” or “a bit of a loose cannon” or “he’s been away fighting for his country, he’s “letting off steam” and lets not forget “this boy lost his mother at an early age” . Well none of this washes with me because for me Harry’s most recent appearance made me even sicker to my stomach than pretty much any of his previous stunts. So, I sat watching him and listened to him and I shook my head and I tutted at him, then the phone rang again and the voice said “Would you come on to Call Kaye today to talk about Prince Harry? ” I said “yes” and welcomed the chance to vent my bitter republican spleen.

Well the next 45 mins or so were a bit of a radio riot, a sensible Irish man called in to say he found His Harrynesses remarks disturbing – I don’t have his exact words but he too felt very uncomfortable with Harry telling us how they “kill insurgents” and that you “take a life to save a life” out there in Afghanistan but the sensible Irish man went away and was pretty much replaced by several royalists and a couple of guys who had been in the army and had various levels of sympathy for the bold boy from bukky house and in that 45mins or so I had to conclude that for all kinds of people and for all kinds of reasons Hapless Harry’s interview had the desired effect of stirring up pro war, pro royal and pro killing the foreigners fervour. One man said that Harry had been wrong to give the interview and talk about killing insurgents because that had put Harry’s life at risk, he went on to claim that there are “Muslims in this country” who could go after the Captain Wales.

For me this was what the whole thing was about, it was about spreading hate and suspicion. It’s about justifying invading and killing folk with sophisticated weapons from a distance. You can call folk legitimate targets, call them insurgents, rebels, you can call folk what you like to make them less human but they are still folk and you are still killing them and the more sophisticated your weapons the less likely you are to know who, or indeed why, you are killing. Now I know many soldiers who have been out in Iraq and Afghanistan, I’ve usually met them selling the Big Issue because they are homeless, or engaging with mental health services due to the trauma they experienced and sadly I’ve been to a young mans funeral…. a young man who died in Basra. A boy who couldn’t find a job, couldn’t afford a flat, a boy who went to the Job Centre and met the army in a fancy jeep and the promise of a driving license and four square meals a day, some training and freedom from the pressure of unemployment.

He got most of that for a wee while then he got killed age 19. Does Harry make the army perhaps look attractive for a ‘lad’ who likes a wild time at home? Does the army look like an attractive option for young people who want to look handsome and cool in their uniforms? And with the ongoing sabre rattling by allied forces governments delivered via sections of the media create so much hate and suspicion of foreigners that our young people seek to follow Harry and “take a life to save a life”?

This orchestrated PR exercise, which was probably filling the space set aside by the royal PR media machine to announce the pregnancy of Kate Windsor had it not leaked out early, has served to fuel hatred for people of Afghanistan and anyone who looks like they may be from Afghanistan. The biggest criticism across the media has been that he should have been perhaps careful about discussing shooting people as it’s a taboo thing to announce (but not a taboo thing to do). Harry’s interview was peppered with that good old cheeky chappie dude who loves his computer games, hates making his bed, has a wee laugh with his chum and a wee gripe about other soldiers seeing him as “Prince Harry” when he’s just plain old Captain Wales.

I’m a feminist, a republican socialist, I’m opposed to invasion and war and the testosterone macho culture which creates hate and destruction. I found this carefully sculpted appearance an exercise which was only there to provoke sympathy and adoration for everything I can’t stand. So, just like Harry I thought I’d say something.

Finally posh mooth man and tabloid media loving man (the other contributors on Call Kaye) and I were asked “what should Harry do when he leaves the forces?” Kaye Adams reminded me that we have a Royal family, so I may as well have an opinion. Thing is I don’t have a royal family – they have me, and as for “What should he do next?” I suggested he try to get a REAL job, but I also suspect he might be required to shoot folk in West Africa given the latest hate filled tripe spewing from Cameron and co.

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Categories: Afghanistan, Antifascism

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21 replies

  1. Thanks for saying what had to be said and when the present Queen goes that should be it finished.

    • I don’t think that’ll be the finish of it. To just have a vote after the current queen dies won’t be enough, we have to sever the link between the English and Scottish crowns, otherwise “they” will still see Scotland as something they should own. Kings don’t care about votes, they only care about what is theirs, or what they think is theirs.
      We should have a single independent Scots King to assure the Scottish throne, then we get rid of “our” monarchs. That way is the only way to stop them and stop them for good.
      If we want a republican future, we must build it to last.
      Personally, I’m a republican by ethical choice, however there is a part of my soul which would indeed die for a Scot’s King in an independent Scotland. Why? I am a Highlander, I don’t give up my past easily. I am immensely proud of my ancestors and their service to their kings, I am not however proud of my Kings service to their people. I’m sure many will feel like I do and will subsequently feel unsure about a republic.

    • Why wait for the present Queen to pass away though? Lets have a referendum asap, if the monarchy wins then at least she can have a token of legitimacy before she goes and afterwards we can have another referendum.

      • Because that’s the way it will happen.
        I reckon the current monarch would rather die than give up her titles. Nothing will happen in her lifetime, only on her death will stuff change. With a bit of luck and hard work Scotland will be an independent country by then and WE WILL have a chance to have our say then. At that point we choose a different monarch to England and the crowns are split. Then we rid ourselves of the monarchy and the crowns are split forever. The old empire will never rise again.
        As with all things, if something is going to die, then let it die with dignity. There is no need to inflict even more pain on an already painful part of Scotland’s soul.

  2. Well said.

  3. Amazing – and depressing – how many stupid sycophantic royalists there still are in this benighted, morally challenged land (I mean the UK). In my book (and according to the straightforward interpretation of the rules of the International Criminal Court Act, to which the UK is a signatory, and – though it’s usually forgotten, of the still valid Nuremberg Rules), everyone involved in any way with the illegal occupation of Afghanistan is a war criminal. That definitely includes soldiers, the politicians who continue the aggression and anyone who has failed to report the war crimes to the police and/or the courts. Ignorance is not an excuse.
    “Take a life to save a life” is a lie. The UK (and the other 20-odd European countries shamefully involved in this crime, whether they realise it or not; they ought to, considering that 876 soldiers from Europe have been killed) is not in Afghanistan to “stop terrorists” (their actions are more likely to create terrorist acts than stop them). The whole “war on terrorism” is a murderous scam based on lies. No-one in or from Afghanistan attacked the West. Osama had nothing to do with 9/11 – the FBI admitted that in 2006. As Robin Cook wrote just before his untimely death, al-Qaeda is the CIA’s “database” of mercenary assets. Why are we there? To reap the profits from the heroin trade – and to help the US in its megalomaniac desire to control as much of the globe as possible. With the Middle East largely sewn up (just Syria and Iran to knock off), the new focus is on Africa. So more “terrorist incidents” have to be arranged to provide the spurious justification for more bases and effective occupations, to add to the more than 1000 bases worldwide the US already has). This has nothing to do with the defence or promotion of “freedom and democracy”. It’s naked neo-imperialism.

    • Yep. That’s exactly what it is, and it’s a great shame that the genesis of this horror is all-but airbrushed from mass consciousness. It’s quite possible, if 16/17 yr olds are granted a vote in the 2014 referendum, that people who were only three or four years old on ‘that Autumn day’ in 2001 have scant idea what ‘shock & awe’ was all about, how it felt to witness it, and the innumerable crimes which followed. Even as I write, Blair is bumping his gums ‘live’ from Davos, where he’s feted as an international diplomat. It would be comical if it wasn’t so fucking tragic.

  4. Get a real job ? Naw, he’ll get something in the defence industry to top up his civil list.

  5. First, I’m a Republican.
    The thing is, Harry is a victim as well, a victim of the manipulation by the London Establishment and their willing friends in the media.
    I say this, because when Harry is on the screen or gracing the front page of your daily rag, then something else much more important is not being aired or talked about.
    When we are talking about Harry, or watching and listening to him, we are not being informed or being allowed to engage in more important matters, e.g. the growing poverty, the all encompassing corruption of Westminster, free education, the health service etc.
    Harry is being used to mask other topics that should be a matter of great importance. So, perhaps he is of constitutional importance, it depends which side of the fence you occupy. The Establishment’s or our world; the bit they don’t want us to be talking about to much.
    There is only so much air time in the land of the media and they are cheerfully using poor old Harry to fill it up, thus leaving very little room for anything else.
    Harry is a puppet. He might not realise that or see himself in such terms, but that’s what he is. I feel sorry for him.

  6. Mr Bell punctuation and spelling mistakes do not detract from this article. Rosie didn’t write this to add to a writers CV, nor should you be reading this with an editorial eye. She wrote it because it is the truth, and she has a conscience. Please concentrate on the subject and not the style.

  7. Its nae bother Peter. I’m a blether and I never read anything after I’ve written it because I’m inclined to water down or think too much about what folk will think. My fault but I’m no sorry or concerned to be honest….

  8. It’s exactly what I expect to hear from jolly japes Harry, as for the Call Kaye nonsense, who really is listening? Who is participating? And of course there is still a group, within a whole generation, of Royal supporters in Scotland, who come from the pre/post WW2 period, but how many street parties were there last year.

    What bothers me more is the slick PR machine the Windsor family keep well and truly oiled, and yes a complicit media. And as for the demonisation of anyone who follows Islam sadly that’s not drip, but bucket load feeding for years, I don’t like the views but I can see how and why they’re formed in the minds of some people.

    Engage, discuss, inform, educate and challenge.

  9. Harry said that he missed home in the interview. My top tip for avoiding homesickness is to not occupy someone else’s country.

  10. Rosie encapsulates the views of many like me who abhor the manner in which UK media glorifies war and panders to that medieval institution which is the monarchy. I sent a text to “Call Kaye” in response to her question “Is Harry just one of the boys?” where I wondered how many other Apache helicopter pilots had achieved their position with A level Art (B) and Geography (D). If there were in fact any others then I would have to acknowledge that privileged Harry with his MOD supplied ultimate boys toy was indeed “one of the boys”. Unfortunately my text was not broadcast.
    Needless to say I will vote Yes in the Independence referendum as I have no wish for my precious grandson, or anyone else for that matter, to die in the forthcoming illegal war in Iran.

  11. Excellent article – I agree with it all :-)

  12. All the silly little toy will do, post-forces, is follow his uncle to the next level and cement his place as pinnacle and pawn; arms salesman. Money and the murderers who make it; what Britain has always been about. Vote Yes.

  13. But there’s s distinct possibility that in an independent scotland would retain links with the royal family http://www.yesscotland.net/will_the_queen_still_be_head_of_state. Personally, quite apart from the fact that the monarchy is an anachronistic and utterly unnecessary aspect of modern British/Scottish life that reinforces the notions of elitism and hierarchy, surely one good reason for getting rid of the monarchy is its desperate cruelty to the poor human beings trapped in its gilded cage. Imagine being born into a family where your future home(s), aspirations, career, work, love life and almost everything else was predetermined – personal decisions made for you in which you have virtually no choice. We’re all somewhat constrained by our environment but at least we can marry who we want, or run off and live in China if we took a notion to do so. Monarchy is modern-day slavery, albeit slavery masked with lots of money, fancy clothes and big houses. We need to release these poor souls from their bondage and let them go free. Perhaps that might give Harry the space to discover his sensitive and reflective side….

  14. A great post, Rosie. Agree with everything you said. Makes me cringe to think that the media shoves these royal “stories” in our faces with the expectation that everyone must admire and/or sympathise with these wastrels.

  15. I suggest he spends some time with some asylum seekers, and he should volunteer in helping the masses of homeless people and in helping the disabled and others who really are struggling in their daily lives here and abroad. A sad time and it being 2013. Not civilised at all really, with regard to many aspects of our so called western civilised world.

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